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EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Sep 2018

Extreme Missions Call for Innovative Optics

JUSTINE MURPHY, SENIOR EDITOR, justine.murphy@photonics.com
Large telescopes, such as the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and other similar technologies, are taking us into the outer reaches of the universe at hyperspeed, continually offering new clarity and insights.

Now in development at the European Southern Observatory site in Chile, the ELT is designed to provide images more than 16 times sharper than those presented by the Hubble Space Telescope. The ELT also will be able to correct fully adaptive and diffraction-limited atmospheric distortions. Its development is moving swiftly — it’s on track to begin operations in just five years — so the optics behind it must keep pace. The same is true for all other similar space exploration technology in the pipeline.

In our cover story (read article), Contributing Editor Hank Hogan examines the optics and optical components that are helping enhance space exploration and how their rapid progression will affect future advancement.

Also in this issue:

• EPIC Insights examines single-mode and multimode fiber optics and their role in the swift growth of data center traffic. EPIC’s Ana Belén González Guerrero and Jose Pozo note that this has been prompted by a continual increase in the number of users and the amount of content being exchanged. Such fiber optics are proving to be a more efficient option, outshining standard copper technology (read article).

• In “Tunable Laser Light Sources Advance Nanophotonics Research,” Jaroslaw Sperling and Korbinian Hens of HÜBNER Photonics discuss the role tunable laser light sources — namely, optical parametric oscillator technology — are playing in nanophotonics research. This type of technology is becoming a viable alternative to traditional lasers in areas such as molecular physics and quantum nanophotonics (read article).

• Achieving an easy-to-use, cost-effective machine vision tool to improve the efficiency and information yield in such areas as aircraft dent inspection can be as simple as deviating from traditional 3D optical metrology equipment. In “Application-Specific Machine Vision Simplifies Aircraft Maintenance,” 8tree’s Howard Chung, Pia Böttcher, and Erik Klaas examine equipment design and the challenges it is helping to overcome (read article).

Enjoy the issue!
Mike Wheeler
An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, Managing Editor Michael D. Wheeler oversees editorial content for Photonics Spectra, EuroPhotonics, BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics magazines.
Justine Murphy
Senior Editor Justine Murphy is an award-winning journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. She is editor of EuroPhotonics and BioPhotonics, and also produces industry-focused podcasts.
Autum Pylant
News Editor Autum C. Pylant is an Air Force Veteran with 10+ years of award-winning broadcast journalism experience. She is responsible for the steady flow of news and new product announcements to web and print and is the producer of the Light Matters video newscast.
 
Robin Riley
Multimedia/Web Editor Robin Riley has 30+ years of experience in communications and marketing for a range of technical industries. She is a regular contributor to web content and social media, and organizes and produces custom and editorial webinars.
Hank Hogan
Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody
Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
 
Valerie Coffey
Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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